OK here is my "how to" for summer sausage. This is just one of many different ways to make summer sausage. If you have never done this i would suggest giving it a try. This is a great way to use ground venison.
For the beginner it may just be easer to pick up a sausage kit. It comes with all your spices,cure and casings in one box. But if your like me you can never leave well enough alone and have to have your own mix that you constantly change...lol
Here's one of my recipes thats pretty simple.
You will need:
5 lb Ground Venison
1 lb Ground Beef
2 cup Water
3 Tbsp Morton tender Quick (this is the cure and is VERY important)
2 Tbsp Non Iodized Salt
4 Tbsp Soy Flour ( non fat dry milk will work)
3 Tbsp Course Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Mustard Seed
1 1/2tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 cup Jalapeño Pepper's Chopped ( fresh is best)
2 cup High Temp Cheddar Cheese
2 to 3 2 1/2" X 20" Fibrous Casings
Liquid smoke ( optional)
While your getting every thing together you'll need to start your casings soaking in a pan of warm water.I add a little salt to the water when i soak mine. It takes about 15 to 30 minutes in warm water for them to get pliable enough to stuff.
Now i do enough of this and various other things that it was worth it to me to buy a mixer. I've had it so long that i don't remember what i gave for it but i'm gonna guess around $100. But you do not have to have a mixer to do this. You can easily use a large bowl.First off I'll start with the ground venison and ground beef in the mixer. I'll give a few turns before i add the spices.
Before we get to far let me mention if you don't already know. The cure is very important. Do not skip this part.You can play with the rest of the mix if you like. I'm using Morton's Tender Quick. Morton says use 1 1/2 tsp per pound of ground meat. There are other types of cure on the market ( pink salt cure ect..) that may call for a smaller amount of cure per pound. This is OK,you will just need to figure out the difference and the adjust amount of cure plus salt you need to add. What every you do don't add more cure then it calls for. Too much cure is a bad thing.
Now you can add the spices( not peppers and cheese). There are two ways to do this. You can just dump them in with the meat or you can mix them together with the water and pour them in. Either way its gonna get mixed up. If you using a bowl and you hands to mix it then it might be easier to add it to the water. Once you have all the spices and water in you can add the soy flour. The soy flour is important.It acts as a binder and helps hold the sausage in a nice uniformed shape. if you plan to add liquid smoke do it now. I cant recommend how much cause i don't use it. I actually smoke mine. If you plan to cook these in the oven then i would add a little liquid smoke for flavor.
Once you have the mixture mixed up good you can add the peppers. Now you can adjust the amount of peppers to your taste. if your in to adding a little kick you could add some cayennes to it Mix the peppers in nice a good before you add the cheese. Its the last thing you want to add because it breaks apart very easy.
Now i like to use the High Temp Cheddar Cheese. I can not find it local so i always order it off the internet. Theres a bunch of places that offer it for a decent price. I've tried regular cheddar cheese many times and it never comes out like i like it.So i stick with the high temp stuff.
Heres a pic all mixed up and ready to stuff.
OK now we got to get it in the casings.First take the casing out of the water and shake the water off.Its OK if there stiff wet.Then get to stuffing. This is super easy to do with a stuffer but you might not have one. What i use to do before i bought the stuffer was use my jerky shooter to stuff the casings. You can pick one up a Walmart pretty cheap. Or you could just roll the meat into small balls and drop it in the casing. Then use your fingers to push it to the end like a tube of tooth paste.Whether you use a stuffer,jerky shooter or by hand the meat needs to be packed pretty tight in the casing. Completely filling it out. The casing is breathable so any air in the casing will need to be pushed out. Once full you can tie the end of the casing off with just about anything. I used bread ties this time.
Once you have the meat stuffed you will need to let it cure. The very minimum amount of time i would wait 24 hours. I usually let mine cure 48 hours.
Once it's cured we need to cook it. You can use the oven or smoker for this. I use the smoker with hickory wood chunks for smoke.. If you plan to use a smoker remember that a nice thin blue smoke is what you after. Keep your oven/smoker temps in the 200 to 250 range. Your looking for an internal temp of 160 in the center of the sausage. Once it hits 160 you can remove the sausage from the oven/smoker.
Soon as you remove it from the oven grill your gonna need to cool it down. You'll need a tub,sink,cooler,ect full of ice water ready for it. Just chunk the sausage rolls in the ice water and let them soak. Some folks let them soak till the center temp cools to around 120 degrees. I let mine soak till the center temp is about 80 degrees. Either way will work.
Once you have them out of the water you gonna need to hang them and let them Bloom. If you used a clear casing you will see them take on a darker color after they have hung awhile. The mahogany casing are already dark. I hang mine for a few hours over a trash can so any water will not end up in the floor. After they have hung a few hours i put them in the fridge. Or you can wrap them and freeze at this point if you like.
And thats it!!! Once you have let one set in the fridge and cool down its ready to slice and enjoy